SAN ANTONIO --The San Antonio Spurs know that a true measure of a season is at the end and not the beginning. But they also know it never hurts to be on a roll to start the year.
Point guard Tony Parker had 19 points and five assists to lead the San Antonio Spurs to a 104-93 win over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night, extending their win streak to eight games.
The Spurs (10-1), coming off a rare four days of rest, had all five starters score in double figures. Forward Kawhi Leonard scored 16, forward Tim Duncan added 13, forward Boris Diaw 12, guard Danny Green 11 and center Tiago Splitter 11 (with 10 rebounds).
"You still have to win the games. You don't want to give up games 'cause it adds up at the end of the year for home court and stuff." Parker stated on the win. "You still have to win games and in the NBA it's not easy."
The Spurs last eight wins are against teams that have sub .500 records, but the bar will be raised Friday night when they face the Memphis Grizzlies (6-5).
Boston's big three -- guard Avery Bradley and forwards Jared Sullinger and Jeff Green -- all had 19 points. Guard Jordan Crawford chipped in 12 as Boston (4-9) lost for the fifth straight time.
It was a back-and-forth first half that featured 10 lead changes and 14 ties. Crawford's layup with 26 seconds left deadlocked the score at 48 going into the locker room.
"I think the four days off, we were a little bit rusty in the first half," Parker said. "It always happens. Boston played with a lot of energy. Second half we played a lot better; got our rhythm going, made some shots and played better defense."
San Antonio pulled away in the third quarter, outscoring the Celtics 32-22. Leonard had 12 points as the Spurs took an 80-70 lead into the fourth quarter.
San Antonio used their trademark ball movement to get 27 team assists on top of 39 field goals.
When guard Marco Belinelli connected on a 3-pointer with 5:25 left in the fourth, San Antonio had a 19-point lead, 100-81.
"We want to be aggressive with the ball," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich stated after the game. "We want to share it. We want to involve everybody. We had 27 assists tonight, which is great. That's a great stat."
Boston hit 11 of 12 free throws (92 percent) but had trouble with the Spurs' pressure defense, which forced 25 points on 17 turnovers. San Antonio gave up just four points on 12 turnovers.
Duncan's offensive woes continued. He hit his first two field goals, then was 1 of 9 for the rest of the half. He finished 3 of 13 with nine rebounds, but his frustration grew as he picked up a technical foul in the third quarter.
Parker picked up the slack with 11 first-half points, and the bench contributed 34 points.
"Obviously at the start of the second half, they (Spurs) played really well, and I think one through 10 they really turned it up a notch," Celtics coach Brad Stevens stated. "Their bench is really good and very, very underrated. When you talk about those guys coming in and passing and moving the ball, they are good players, they all know how to play, and they're very skilled."
Green had 11 first-half points and Sullinger added 10 points and 12 rebounds for Boston, which was coming off a 109-85 loss to the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night.
"Most definitely," Green stated on being proud of his team's first half effort. "Coming off a back-to-back and finding a team that hasn't played since last Friday. The way we responded from last night I think was positive, something we can take away and continue to move forward with."
Bradley had nine first-quarter points on four buckets to give the Celtics a 25-22 lead. Bradley picked up his third foul midway through the second quarter and sat the rest of the way.
NOTES: The Spurs' Big Three -- F Tim Duncan, G Tony Parker and G Manu Ginobili -- are climbing the charts for most wins by a trio. They have 464, which is fourth all-time. At the top of the list are Boston F Larry Bird, C Robert Parish and F Kevin McHale, who had 540 wins. ... The Celtics played their third of 20 back-to-back games this season. ... In two games against Boston last season, Parker averaged 24.0 points and 7.0 assists. ... Celtics F Jared Sullinger and C/F Kelly Olynyk were inserted in the starting lineup in place of F Brandon Bass and C Vitor Faverani.